I. URBAN DEVELOPMENT AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS
C. Heavy industrialization: the changes of city functions
In the 1930s Shanghai was the centre of finance and trade in the Far East and its thriving modern industry promoted its urbanization. But most of its industries were in the hands of foreigners and bureaucratic capitalists while its national industry was fairly weak. Consequently, the abnormally structured industry in Shanghai was almost paralyzed after experiencing international and civil wars. In 1949 its gross industrial product totalled 3.5 billion yuan of which 88.2 per cent came from light industries, consisting mainly of cotton, flour, tobacco, rubber, hide, soap and match production.
Shanghai changed under the planned economy after 1949 from a consuming city to a producing city because of radical changes at home and abroad. Industrialization had played a leading role in its urbanization since it had been specifically set up as one of China's most important comprehensive manufacturing industry centres.